It is 17th October 2019. We celebrate the memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr. The readings are from Romans 3:21-30; and the Gospel from Luke 11:47-54. Segregating, separating, dividing and disfiguring people directly opposes our faith in Jesus. Our witness or testimony of faith has to be demonstrated in our unwavering faith in Jesus. Our actions are to bear the name of Jesus. Merciful acts and charity should not be used for self-glorification and gratification rather it needs to be seen in the light of faith. No one earns faith by any good work. Our faith comes from God as gift through Jesus Christ. St. Paul emphasizes that we are justified by faith in Jesus. Everyone has fallen into the vicious circle of sin. We are all guilty of what we have done before God. With human power, there is no way anyone could be saved. It is Christ Jesus put us all right before God. Because of the one sacrifice of Jesus, God sees us differently and made us just through Jesus. Jesus through His sacrifice on the Cross bought us back from the slavery of sin and redeemed us all. “We are justified through the free gift of his grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice his life so as to win reconciliation through faith.” (Rom. 3:22). The responsorial Psalm praises, “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” (Ps.129:7). In explaining the Gospel of the day, His Holiness teaches us in his encyclical, ‘Light of Faith’ No. 19 in the following manner: “Only by being open to and acknowledging this gift can we be transformed, experience salvation bear good frit. Salvation by faith means recognizing the primacy of God’s gift. As Saint Paul puts it; by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” A missionary disciple cannot be like a closed, hyper-critical and destructive individual rather needs to embrace universal salvific plan of God through Jesus by being open, encouraging and constructive in relating with others. We must never settle to be nominal believers who self-righteous. Faith is not about following a bunch of laws and observances of pious actions. Faith is all about love and how we relate with God by relating with one another. May we bear witness to our faith in love. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

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